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GUIDE FOR WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS

 You have registered for your chosen workshop(s) and have just received confirmation of your acceptance. You are about to embark on an exciting journey of discovery, collaboration, and peer learning!

Active participation in Academy workshops is not only encouraged, it is expected. The success of the group’s learning experience depends just as much on the engagement of participants in the entire process as it does on the quality of the presentations or the skillful facilitation of the discussion period.

When do I get more information about my workshop?

Sometime in May you will receive a welcoming email from your workshop facilitators along with their contact information. Later in June you will receive comprehensive information on how your workshop will operate. Depending on the subject, it may include an annotated reading list for the year (or a listing of films or topics), a listing of resources (such as magazine articles or video links) and your facilitator’s instructions with respect to making presentations. You will also receive confirmation of meeting dates and times and room allocation.

This information will be disseminated by email but many facilitators also post this material on the website. Use the website’s Search feature to locate your workshop and then click on Read More. Alternatively, click on https://allto.ca/workshops/ , scroll down to locate your workshop(s) and then hit the FIND OUT MORE tab. Check back periodically for new or updated information.

What does it mean if I am “waitlisted” for a workshop?

Some workshops receive more registrants than can be comfortably accommodated in the workshop setting. In the interests of fairness, all the applications for an oversubscribed workshop are randomized to determine admission and to create waitlists.  After randomization, registrations are processed and added to the waitlists on a first-come, first-served basis. Three places in each workshop are held for new members until July 1st, after which time they are assigned to those waitlisted in priority order.  If you are waitlisted, you will be contacted to see if you wish to remain on the waitlist or if you wish to choose another workshop that has space available.  Check here to see what workshops have space.

I’ve received confirmation and information from my facilitator, what then?

Read through all the information carefully. If there is anything you don’t understand, or if you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact your facilitators.  Be aware that many lists contain more options than can be covered in 24 workshop sessions. It is up to the participants in those workshops to choose the titles or topics which they wish to present to the group.

I’ve picked something that interests me and confirmed a presentation date. What do I do between now and the beginning of the fall semester?

Summer is the ideal time to begin preparing for your presentation - making notes, exploring resources and thinking about questions for discussion. See the Guide for Presenters.

As a participant in a “reading-heavy” workshop you can also use this time to get a head start on required reading - the titles/topics that have been itemized by your facilitator. Don’t forget to take notes as an aide-memoire. It is always easier to review than to re-read! As well as making notes on content, you might also be thinking about questions you have or points you might wish to raise when the topic is discussed in the workshop.

If you plan to borrow material from the Toronto Public Library, you can make your holds “inactive” and then activate each one closer to the time you want to access it without losing your place in the line.

Some facilitators may organize a casual social time for workshop participants to meet and greet a week or so before the semester starts.  This is a great opportunity to become better acquainted with your classmates.

Workshop Etiquette - what do I need to know?

Workshops are generally conducted in Rooms 1 and 5 of Knox College, although other locations may be used such as the Media Commons in the Robarts Library for the Documentary Film workshop. Please be aware that classes are in session elsewhere in Knox College and keep noise in the hallways to a minimum. The Common Room is the appropriate place to socialize.

Leaving your classroom promptly at the end of your workshop will allow the next workshop’s participants time to get settled and prepare the A/V equipment for their presentation.

On the first day of your workshop you will be asked to put your name on a tent card to be placed in front of you. These will be redistributed at the beginning of each session. You will also be asked to indicate your presence on an attendance sheet. If you have any known absence dates coming up, it is very helpful to your facilitator if you can indicate these in advance.  (If lengthy “snowbird” absences are indicated, other interested members who were waitlisted may be invited to participate in your absence.)

If you find you are unable to attend any given workshop as a result of illness or a competing commitment, it is a courtesy to advise your facilitator in advance to that effect.

Please raise your hand when you wish to contribute to the discussion. Your facilitator will keep track of requests to speak. Most importantly, always wait for a microphone to be passed to you before you begin to speak. You can help the flow of the discussion by passing the microphone to the next speaker. Even though you think you have a loud speaking voice, the use of a microphone is very helpful to those with even a minor hearing impairment.

While members are encouraged to freely express their ideas, ad hominem attacks on those with opposing views or the use of abusive language are not tolerated. Please refer to the Code of Conduct https://allto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Code-of-conduct-final-approval-2017-AGM.pdf for a fuller statement of the Academy’s policy in this regard.

You may bring food and drink into the classroom or wait until the break to consume it in the Common Room. Coffee is available in the Common Room, at no charge, to members of the Academy and a kettle to boil water for tea. Please tidy up after yourself!

As a courtesy to your fellow participants, please refrain from the use of strong scents. No pets are allowed, with the exception of service dogs.

If you need to leave and re-enter the classroom during the workshop, please do so as quietly as possible. There are washroom facilities on the main floor of Knox College and in the basement.

How can I comment on my workshop experience?

You are encouraged to communicate directly with your facilitator at any time with questions or concerns.

Additionally, in the middle of the first semester, workshop participants are asked to complete a feedback survey. This is completed online and is anonymous. Participation in the survey is your formal opportunity to let your facilitator know what you like or don’t like about your workshop. Survey results also provide the Curriculum Committee with valuable information in addressing current issues and in planning for the future.

I have better-than-average computer skills. Can I be of assistance in the classroom?

Most definitely! Every workshop requires the services of a technical rep to assist facilitators and presenters with the technical aspects of running an audiovisual presentation. Training is provided by the Tech Leadership Team once every semester in which you will be taken through all the aspects of using classroom software and managing hardware setup.  Please speak to your facilitator or a member of the Tech Leadership Team if you feel you could contribute in this way - it would be greatly appreciated!

How can I spread the word?

Every year there is a natural attrition in the number of Academy members. New members are the lifeblood of our organization!

As a workshop participant you can make an invaluable contribution by sharing your Academy experience with friends and neighbours. In the springtime, Academy business cards are made available for distribution. You are also encouraged to invite a friend to attend one or more of the Academy’s Spring Talks held at Innis College.

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